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Michigan pets among nation's fattest

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Weight issues are not just a "people" thing. Pets can easily become overweight or obese. And, according to a major national study, Michigan pets are among some of America's fattest.

Michigan cats rank 6th on the Banfieled Pet Hospital "State of Pet Health" report, dogs rank 3rd, among the nation's chubbiest.

The report is based on data collected on over 2.5 million pets nationwide. Over the past ten years, the number of overweight pets has increased by nearly 170-percent.

Why? The answers are not simple, but one thing Dr. Kirk Breuninger, lead researcher, says that people tend to use food as a reward, for bonding, and as a means of communication.

Pets face similar health risks as humans when it comes to carrying too much weight. Type 2 Diabetes is a real issue for pets, so is heart disease. Extra weight in pets also contributes to arthritis.

Dr. Breuninger suggests using healthier treats, like pet-friendly vegetables, and giving fewer of them. He also suggests working with your veterinarian to make sure you are giving your pet the proper amount of food.

Exercising your pet is a must. This means taking them for walks, daily. This solution could easily benefit humans, by improving their health along with their pets'.

Wondering if your pet is fat? Stand over them and look down at their body. Do you see a waist? If you don't, that's a huge red flag. You should be able to feel ribs, but if you see them too easily, your pet may be underweight.



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